Sarah Lucey Biester died on May 3, 2019, at age 49, at her home in Montclair, surrounded by her husband, family and friends after a long fight with cancer.
She was born in Greenwich, Conn. on Jan. 20, 1970 and was raised in Wilton, Conn. Mrs. Biester is the fourth child of Gordon Macaulay Lucey and Suzanne Linn Lucey. She loved soccer and played on the Wilton High Team, which included a state championship.
Mrs. Biester was descended from a number of persons who came to New England in the Puritan Migrations of the 1630s, including Deacon Samuel Chapin, James Cudworth, Elder John White and the Rev. Jonathan Burr.
Mrs. Biester had a career with international affairs that she began as a 15-year-old when, she headed off in the summer of 1985 on a Becket-Chimney Corners International Camper exchange (ICEP) to Sweden and Russia. In her junior year program in London while at St. Lawrence University, she served as an intern in the House of Commons for Sir Michael Shersby, M.P.
Following her graduation from St. Lawrence University, Mrs. Biester led an ICEP group to Germany and the Czech Republic in the summer of 1993. At the conclusion of the trip, she stayed on in Prague assisting the Czech YMCA in reopening their camps, which they had lost during the communist takeover. She also taught English in a Prague Middle School, and was at Wenceslas Square on New Year’s Eve when Czechoslovakia divided into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Returning to the United States, she moved to Washington, D.C. taking an internship in Eastern European Affairs at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. After, which, She joined the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI).
As a program officer for East Asia at NDI, she observed elections in Cambodia with the joint NDI/IRI mission and in Indonesia with the NDI/Carter Center Election Mission. She made three trips to Nepal in connection with election and Parliamentary reform, training women candidates to run, which resulted in success.
Upon returning from Indonesia she enrolled in Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs earning a master’s of international affairs degree in 2001. Following several positions in the private sector, including KPMG, LLP, she joined the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in New York. Rapidly rising in the UNDP, Mrs. Biester became the team leader-partnerships/communications, in the Learning Resources Centre coordinating utilization of resources from within the various agencies of the UN and the private sector.
During this time Mrs. Biester met her husband David Biester and after the birth of her second son, she retired from the UNDP and they moved to Montclair. She returned to international development as an adjunct professor of international relations at Montclair State University in recent years before beginning her last fight with cancer.
In 2016, she was honored at a dinner by the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in New Jersey as someone whose strength of heart and spirit triumphed over adversity, and acknowledging her great love of life.
She was predeceased by her brother David P. Lucey.
Mrs. Biester is survived by her husband David Robertson Biester, her sons Duncan Macaulay and George Gordon, her brother William G. Lucey, Sister Katherine M. Lucey, her parents Gordon Macaulay and Suzanne Linn Lucey and 10 nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 11, at the Wilton Congregational Church, 70 Ridgefield Road, Wilton, Conn., where she was baptized, confirmed and married. A reception will follow in the church’s Pilgrim Hall.
In lieu of flowers contributions in memory of Sarah Lucey Biester may be made to the Chimney Corners Camp, mail to Becket-Chimney Corners YMCA, 748 Hamilton Road, Becket, MA. 01223 or visit bccymca.org/chimney.